On the Belt & Road: China building world's largest greenhouses for Egypt
A Chinese company is building greenhouses for Egypt to allow the country to grow vegetables in the desert. The project is said to be the largest of its kind in construction in the world. Our reporter Wu Guoxiu follows the manufacturing in Chinese factories to Egypt, in this episode of On the Belt and Road.
It's been like this since July. About 80 factories in China, just like this one in Tianjin, are producing components for the greenhouses at the same time. The demand is urgent and massive.
SUN GUIHENG PURCHASE MANAGER FOR GREENHOUSE PROJECT CHINA SINOMACH HEAVY INDUSTRY CORPORATION "These are just the steel skeletons. We also have other factories producing shading nets and irrigations systems. We mobilized almost all resources producing agricultural appliances in China. Many are working around the clock."
The 400-million-dollar project was signed between the Chinese company and the Egyptian government in May 2017. The plan is to have it completed within a year. Batch by batch, shipments will last until April 2018.
WU GUOXIU TIANJIN "This is just a very small portion of the material needed for the greenhouses. And it takes an entire week with people working round the clock to load this giant ship. It will arrive in Egypt in a month and what will the greenhouse be like? Let's check it out what they'll be like there."
Now we are in Egypt. The greenhouses are being built in two areas within two hour's drive from Cairo. Each greenhouse is larger than a standard football field. In total, there will be about 3,000 of them, stretching 30 square kilometers.
HOU HUICONG DEPUTY MANAGER FOR GREENHOUSE PROJECT CHINA SINOMACH HEAVY INDUSTRY CORPORATION "Each number indicates a cluster of six greenhouses. Each cluster has a control center. The area is near a sub-branch of the Nile, so we'll build ditches to divert the water for the greenhouses."
According to the deal, the Chinese company will also provide technical support for installation and planting.
HOU HUICONG DEPUTY MANAGER FOR GREENHOUSE PROJECT CHINA SINOMACH HEAVY INDUSTRY CORPORATION "While we were designing them, we consulted with Egypt's agricultural experts. These greenhouses will grow vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and color peppers. It's based on Egypt's market demand and that of surrounding countries."
Over 90 percent of Egypt is in the desert. The greenhouses will allow planting of vegetables on such land. The whole project is expected to debut this summer. Wu Guoxiu, CGTN, Egypt.